Minister to take rock lobster fishery options to Cabinet

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said today he had been engaged in ongoing talks with key industry representatives and government agencies about the latest puerulus* count in the State’s rock lobster fishery.

“Given the potential consequences of this record low puerulus count, I will be taking a number of recommendations to Cabinet on Monday,” Mr Moore said.

“Until Cabinet has had the chance to discuss, and to either agree or disagree with, these recommendations, it would be entirely inappropriate for me to comment further.”

The Minister said Department of Fisheries and CSIRO scientists were already investigating the possible causes of the reductions in puerulus settlement.

“While research scientists consider that unusual environmental conditions are the most likely cause, they will also be examining whether the level of breeding stock in certain areas of the fishery is a contributing factor,” he said.

“This situation needs carefully considered management to protect our rock lobster fishery in an environmentally and economically sustainable fashion and provide ongoing benefits to the State.”

*The puerulus is the stage in a rock lobster’s life cycle when it settles at inshore coastal areas following its nine to 11-month offshore larval life. A puerulus is about 20mm long.
Minister's office - 9422 3000

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Date Joined: 22/02/07

Might be able to pic up a

Mon, 2008-10-27 13:03

Might be able to pic up a good westcoaster cheap soon

Tim's picture

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Date Joined: 26/09/06

Media Release

Mon, 2008-10-27 17:21

Minister released a media statement today around this issue.

http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/CurrentMinistersSearch.aspx?ItemId=130794&minister=Moore&admin=Barnett

Mon 27 October, 2008

New measures aim to protect lobster fishery

Portfolio: Fisheries

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has gained Cabinet support to implement a raft of measures to manage the State’s western rock lobster stocks.

The plan to better manage the lobster fishery follows last week’s release of the latest monthly puerulus (young lobsters) count figures which showed puerulus numbers were virtually nil.

“This follows five years of declining puerulus counts and is obviously a matter of serious concern as it means the annual catch of around 11,000 tonnes of western rock lobster is under pressure,” Mr Moore said.

“Today I have gained Cabinet support to implement a raft of new measures to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the State’s western rock lobster stocks, which include:

·       a 15 per cent reduction on unit entitlements for the commercial rock lobster industry for the 2008-2009 season starting on December 1 or as close to that date as is administratively possible; and

·       an additional 15 per cent reduction on unit entitlements for 2009-2010 for the beginning of next year’s season.

“Under the already agreed fishing effort - implemented under the previous Labor government - effort reductions of 22 to 24 per cent for the commercial sector are likely to result in an estimated harvest in 2008-2009 of 8300 tonnes of rock lobster,” Mr Moore said.

“The advice I have received is that this harvest figure needs to come down to about 7000 tonnes in the 2009-2010 season to give some respite to the lobster fishery.”

The Minister said his plan to manage the fishery would also extend to recreational fishers.

Mr Moore will change the management of by-product catch in lobster pots for commercial fishers.

The current regulations, making it illegal for professional fishers to retain this catch, will be eased to allow legal sized fish to be retained for personal consumption.

 “I will also approach the Commonwealth to invest a larger proportion of the national fisheries research funding pool into the western rock lobster fishery,” he said.

“Currently WA’s proportion of the national funding pool does not equitably reflect the State’s contribution to the nation’s fishing earnings.”

Minister's office  - 9422 3000

 

Tim's picture

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recs

Mon, 2008-10-27 17:23

The Minister said his plan to manage the fishery would also extend to recreational fishers but there doesnt seem to be any detail yet as to what that will be.

** Rockingham Offshore Fishing Club **

Mick's picture

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No rods on board

Tue, 2008-10-28 08:37

G'day guys

Mexican, the commercial cray guys are not allowed to have fishing gear of any sort on board. My mate cannot even let his kids fish off the back of the boat when its in its pen in the river. They can stand next to it but not on it. $25 000 fine straight up. Most of these guys truly care for the sustainability of the fishery as it is their livelyhood. As far as compensation goes, they have copped pot reductions over the past few years and have not received a thing, they still have to pay the licencing fee on each pot even though they are not allowed to fish them. After this round of reductions , to fish 100 pots you need to have 160 approx, while still pay for the pots plus the yearly licence fee. Its like saying to a farmer, you have 1600 hectares that you own but you can only farm 1000 hectares but we will still charge you full rates for your land. Thats a fairly simple analogy of whats happening and the full ramafications wont be realised until the next raft of reductions come in next year.

Cheers Mick

Few men desire real freedom. Most men simply desire a kind master

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If the lord did not mean for us to eat fish and game, he wouldn't have made them outta meat

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Hi Mick

Tue, 2008-10-28 09:44

 how can they do that like you have stated seems stupid but there again thats goverment red tape b.......ht for you.. Sorry I'm shaking my head stupid and muttering something under my breath that I can't type here.

 

SPEWIE LEWIE

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The rule that has been

Tue, 2008-10-28 18:28

The rule that has been relaxed allows for shifty cray fishermen to catch fish and claim they were pot caught,
I'm not saying many are but there is always a few,
An ex cray fisherman was telling me when crays the were slow that they used to tie a short length of line to every 4th pot with a circle hook to it - instant "cash" money.
Hear say but possible,

Whats unfortunate is that the cray count numbers are low -possible overfishing,
The government has had to take measures to protect total wipe out,
when the numbers return so will the fishermen,the fishermen that have recently invested large amounts of money or have large loans will suffer the most - which is unfortunate but nothing in life is a given.

Mick's picture

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Hi Roberta Yes it is

Tue, 2008-10-28 10:47

Hi Roberta

Yes it is absolute bullsh1t. These guys have invested huge amounts of money on boats, pots and licences. We are talking 6 figure sums and for them not to be able to utilise it is cause for concern. There are alot of guys up here who are tossing up whether to fish or not this year. With fuel costs, insurances, and general running costs including wages it is borderline.

This is a quote from Craig Radford on Wangler to give you an idea of the costs associated and affect of pot reduction. Hope you dont mind Nod:

  

Few men desire real freedom.Doubtful that will happen Ben. There has been no compensation for the 28% reduction in numbers actually going in the waterthat has already been taken back and they are facing a further 10% reduction in useable pots.

For those who don't get that , it means that if a fisher owns 100 pots, they will only be able to fish 65 to 70 at any one time. So to fish enough pots to catch enough crays to make a living, a modest boat  - say a 20y/o 43 Randell that has a top speed of 15 knots and fishes withing 20 miles of it's home port, needs to fish  about 90 pots in the water, so they have to own around 150 pots on the licence - given that the crays actually exist to catch. As mentioned earlier.

Those 90 pots will (historically) catch about 12 to 14000 kg, and given a beach price of $25/kg - which is a realistic figure over the season. A turnover of $350k.

Take out expenses of 60k for fuel, 40 for bait, 60+ for a deckie - many are on wages now, 30 for gear replacement, 30 for repairs/service,40 for the fishing licence and that 350k gross starts to look notso good.

Remembering also that the money generated by the cray industry pays a lot of the fisheries bill and the $ that it brings into australia as a primary produced export income are real $.

I'm not trying to gold plate what looks like a disaster in the making that is no one's fault but their own, just putting the alternative view.

Nod 

Cheers Mick
 Most men simply desire a kind master

____________________________________________________________________________

If the lord did not mean for us to eat fish and game, he wouldn't have made them outta meat

The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. That's why so many people appear bright...until they speak.

carnarvonite's picture

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Pot reductions

Tue, 2008-10-28 11:04

They have had an 18% reduction on their gear for years,eg to put 100 pots in the water you had to have 118,now they have added anothe 15% n top of that.

Originally the only days they took off were Xmas day and Good Friday then it was only the needy or the greedy who fished on them as it was only voluntary,next it was made compulsory for the 2 days plus Boxing day as well A few years back it was made illegal to fish the 4 days over the full moon after the end of January and now they have to take each Sunday as well.
All this feathers back down the whole chain from depot hands,truckdrivers,sorters and freezer hands,many who would usually make enough during the 7 1/2 month season to carry them over untill the next season.Most will go on the dole or find other jobs outside of the industry never to return